Though it has been a long time since New Year’s Eve we should take the opportunity to celebrate the year 2014 in cycling. Last year saw the release of Making Space For Cycling: A guide for new developments and street renewals, written by Martin Lucas-Smith and myself from the Campaign, and funded by BikeHub. This document outlines how to incorporate cycling into urban environments in a way that is safe, convenient and attractive to people of all ages and abilities. It was endorsed by all the national cycling charities and organisations, demonstrating a shared aspiration and coherent vision for the future of cycling in this country. At November’s AGM it was formally adopted as articulating the principles of the Campaign.
The proposals under the Cycle City Ambition award were consulted on and approved. As well as routes outside the city, this also saw the first segregated cycle routes on main roads approved for Cambridge. This was a huge step forward for the city, and I look forward to riding on them in 2015! The Greater Cambridge City Deal was signed, which confirmed funding for the Chisholm Trail. This will link the existing Cambridge station to the new ChesterTon station and provide a cross-city link for many businesses and residences along the route. It will also connect the two sections of the Guided Busway maintenance track, which means Trumpington will be linked to St Ives by a continuous cycle route. Construction of the Chisholm Trail is due to start this year, along with several other cycling projects, as their low-cost nature makes them priority candidates for the City Deal to show early benefits and thus justify further funds in the future.
Other improvements include Mill Road resurfacing, which provided an opportunity to act on research suggesting that removing centre lines encourages better overtaking of people on bikes by drivers. Various one-way streets were approved for two-way cycling. The first 20mph area introduced was in North Cambridge. Improvements were made to cycle parking provision in the city centre while work is at last starting on the 3,000 space cycle park at Cambridge Station. Progress was also made towards putting in on-street cycle parking in Thoday Street. Cambridge’s first cycle barometer was erected on Gonville Place, in time for the Tour de France which started its third stage in Cambridge in July. The cycle barometer counts the number of cyclists passing it every day. However, many other projects failed to progress, and there remain major barriers to cycling in and around the city. Unfortunately we have had two resignations from the committee, and therefore will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting at our March meeting to elect new members. This year there will be a general election as well as local elections and along with our popular hustings at our April meeting we will also be looking for all candidates to endorse Making Space for Cycling. This should also be the year when we employ our first member of staff. This will allow us to better continue our work in 2015 towards safe and convenient cycling in and around Cambridge.